Concussions, college football coexist, as always

The hits just keep on coming

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I watched Tuesday night's "League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis" on PBS' Frontline Tuesday night.

Based on the book of the same title by Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada, the documentary was fascinating and hard to watch at the same time. Much of the subject material had already been presented in many forms. But when assembled in a 2-hour presentation with so much commentary and information from the medical community and family members of former NFL players plagued with brain disease, it was powerful.

You can watch Part 1t here on the PBS website. Part 2 will be next Tuesday at 8 p.m., Central time.

Of course, head injuries are part of football at virtually all levels. The state of Texas has been impacted by it greatly this college football season.

University of Texas quarterback David Ash will miss his third-straight game Saturday because of the lingering effects of a head injury. He also missed the first game of the season with what were called concussion-like symptoms.

The University of Houston announced Tuesday that quarterback David Piland is ending his football career because of multiple concussions.

Last Saturday, Georgia punter Collin Barber (No. 32) suffered a concussion because of the hit on this play:

Barber is listed as questionable for the Bulldogs' game against Missouri Saturday.

Maryland QB C.J. Brown is questionable for Saturdayís home game against Virginia because he suffered a concussion against Florida State last week.

Last week, two former college football players filed a $5 million lawsuit against the NCAA, claiming they sustained repeated head injuries. They say they were promised they would be competing in a protected college environment.

Another such lawsuit was filed last month by three former college players, saying the NCAA failed to educate them about the risks of concussions and didn't do enough to prevent, diagnose and treat brain injuries.

Recently, a high school football player in North Carolina quit the sport after suffering his fourth concussion. The first one came in middle school.

A month ago, another high school player in North Carolina was knocked unconscious by a concussion. It was his third within a year. His mother said there would be no more football for the boy.

Scott Winehan of Lincoln (Neb.) Lutheran High School has suffered three concussions. He is 16. As of this Sept. 29 story in the Omaha World Herald, he was still playing football.

Then there's this very sad story about a former La Salle University football player whose family sued the school for negligence and received a $7.5 million settlement after the player's life was altered forever from hits to the head he suffered in 2005 games.

I've covered many a game in which college football players suffered concussions, and probably only knew about a small portion of them.

I do remember concussions to Iowa football players Damon Bullock, Colin Sandeman, Adam Robinson, Mike Klinkenborg, Kenny Iwebema, Drew Tate ...† Many others happened in practice away from public sight. We know more now. We hear about more now.

But the players only get bigger, faster, and hit harder.


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